SSI and survivor annuities


Q. My sister, who has been disabled with cerebral palsy since birth and is almost 49, has been receiving Social Security Income for many years.  She is totally disabled, has never been employed, and never will be employed.  Both of our parents are now deceased. She started getting a survivor annuity from OPM earlier this year — our dad died last November.  She was getting a little over $650 from SSI and about the same from mom and dad’s annuities (both mom and dad worked in the government.

We recently got a letter that says because of this income, her SSI benefit will be reduced to a little over $100 per month.  Is that right? The letter said we could appeal, but if SSI is correct, there’s no point.

A. According to the Social Security Administration, the amount of an SSI payment varies according to the child’s income and resources. See SSA’s publication at


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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  1. For those who retire at age 60 with 20 years of service or at their minimum retirement age (MRA) with 30, the special retirement supplement (SRS) is payable immediately. For those who retire under an early retirement authority, it’s payable at their MRA. No paperwork is needed to receive the SRS. Three things to keep in mind. 1)The SRS is never payable to those who retire under the MRA+10 provision or who leave government and apply for a deferred annuity. 2) The SRS won’t be added to an interim annuity, only a final annuity; however, the payment will be retoractive. 3) If a retiree receiving the SRS exceeds the annual Social Security earnings limit, the SRS will be reduced or suspended.

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